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Canceling Keystone Kills Union Jobs

‘Killing good union jobs on day one with nothing to replace them, is not building back better.’ 

Washington, D.C. (January 20, 2021) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today:

The Biden Administration’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on day one of his presidency is both insulting and disappointing to the thousands of hard-working LIUNA members who will lose good-paying, middle class family-supporting jobs. By blocking this 100 percent union project, and pandering to environmental extremists, a thousand union jobs will immediately vanish and 10,000 additional jobs will be foregone.


We had hoped the new Administration would make a decision based on the facts as they are today, not as they were perceived years ago. The Keystone XL pipeline of today is dramatically different than the pipeline rejected while President Biden was in the Obama Administration. In an agreement with North America’s Building Trades Unions, the project owner, TC Energy, had committed $1.7 billion to operate the pipeline with renewable energy and achieve net-zero emission within two years – all using union workers. Their commitment amounted to the equivalent of taking 650,000 cars off the road, one of the largest renewable energy investments ever.

We support the President’s campaign to “build back better.” But for union members affected by this decision, there are no renewable energy jobs that come even close to replacing the wages and benefits the Keystone XL project would have provided. Killing good union jobs on day one with nothing to replace them, is not building back better. Hopefully, the Biden Administration will not continue to allow environmental extremists to control our country’s energy agenda at the expense of union construction workers being forced to the unemployment lines.



The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.